From Riches to Rags
Lord, speak to me now. Show me that Your plan for me is above and behind what is happening to me.
Read JOB 1:1-22
 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.  He had seven sons and three daughters,  and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.  His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.  When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.  One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them.  The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”  Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”  “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied.  “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.  But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”  The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.  One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house,  a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby,  and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”  While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”  While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”  While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house,  when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”  At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship  and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”  In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did Job react to all this disaster?
Job was rich, seriously rich (3). He was probably a prince. The name Job has been found at least twice in old documents. Both were princes who lived not too far from this Job’s homeland. Uz is generally thought to be Edom—the mountainous land between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. Job was both rich and good—this combination pleases God so much—and he avoided the pitfalls of prosperity. Our Bible warns us about these so many times (see, for example, 1 Tim. 6:10). Of course, our wealth is not only the money in our pockets or bank accounts. Job had a rich relationship with God and God had a rich relationship with Job. He had great confidence in Job, whose true worship had good results for his family (4,5). But suddenly he lost everything he had, and he didn’t know why.
Would you and I feel let down by God if something like that happened to us? Perhaps it has already. In all our losses, let’s not lose that most precious faith we share together with Job (22).
Is anything, especially prosperity, interfering with your relationship with God? If so, ask God what to do.
Lord, I trust that whatever You’re doing, You are still my loving God. May nothing interfere with our relationship.
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